Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS)


CSS stands for Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing.


The accelerations acting on the vessel due to its motion in the sea give rise to the majority of securing problems. Hazards arising from these forces should be dealt with by taking measures both to ensure proper stowage and securing of cargoes on board and to reduce the amplitude and frequency of ship motions. Assembly adopted the Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing (CSS Code) in November 1991 by resolution A.714(17). The Assembly recommended that Governments implement the Code at the earliest possible opportunity and requested the Maritime Safety Committee to keep it under review and amend it as necessary.


The purpose of the CSS Code is to provide an international standard to promote the safe stowage and securing of cargoes by:

  • Drawing the attention of shipowners and ship operators to the need to ensure that the ship is suitable for its intended purpose;
  • Providing advice to ensure that the ship is equipped with proper cargo securing means;
  • Providing general advice concerning the proper stowage and securing of cargoes to minimize the risks to the ship and personnel;
  • Providing specific advice on those cargoes which are known to create difficulties and hazards with regard to their stowage and securing;
  • Advising on actions that may be taken in heavy sea conditions
  • Advising on actions that may be taken to remedy the effects of cargo shifting.

In providing such advice, it should be borne in mind that the Master is responsible for the safe conduct of the voyage and the safety of the ship, its crew, and its cargo.



It also contain 13 annex

Vessel’s Characteristics

Turning circle and terms


The distance traveled in the direction of the original heading measured from the point at which a helm was first applied. The maximum advance is usually between 3 to 5 ship lengths for a merchant ship of any size going at full ahead and using full helm.


The distance of the center of gravity of the ship from the original track line measured in the 90º to the original heading. The transfer for a turn of 90º is about two ship lengths

Tactical Diameter

It is the transfer for a turn of 180º which is almost equal to the maximum transfer. It is usually about the same distance as the maximum advance.

Drift Angle

It is the angle between the tangent to the turning circle at any point and the fore and aft line of the ship.

Pivot Point

It is the point about which the vessel pivots with the bow swinging inwards and the stern swinging outwards. It is about one third (1/3) of the vessels length from forward when going ahead. When going astern the vessel pivots about approximately one quarter of the length from astern.

Final Diameter

It is the diameter of a circle traversed by a vessel after turning through 360º and maintaining the same speed and rudder angle. This diameter is always less than the tactical diameter. It is measured perpendicular to the original course and between the tangents at the points where 180º and 360º of the turn have been completed.

Function 1 (Navigation oral) – questions with answer

  1. ROR Rule 2.
  2. ROR Rule 3 (NOC, RAM, CBD, Underway, Making way, Sailing vessel, seaplane, Length overall.)
  3. What do you mean by vessel in sight of one another?
  4. Describe rule number 5.
  5. Rule number 6.
  6. Describe a safe speed by vessels with operational radar?
  7. Rule 7 – Risk of collision.
    1. At what scale is your radar?
    2. why is it on 6 and 12 not 24 ?
    3. What would you use to determine the risk of collision?
  8. If the bearing is steady, is there a risk of collision ?
  9. What is rule number 8 ?
    1. Explain each action under rule number 8.
    2. Why alter and not slow down or stoping vessel?
    3. What will you check while taking any alteration?
    4. If you are in any doubt while taking alteration what will you do ?
  10. Explain rule number 9 – Narrow channel?
    1. What side of the narrow channel would you keep ?
    2. Are you allowed to cross narrow channel?
  11. What is TSS.
    1. Explain rule number 10.
    2. How do you leave a lane?
    3. How do you cross a lane?
    4. Why 90 degrees?
    5. which vessel can use the inshore zone?
    6. What do you understand by inshore zone?
    7. Where can you anchor?
    8. Where can you go fishing in the TSS?

what is a fire control plan onboard ship?


The Fire Control Plan is a mandatory requirement of the SOLAS convention described in Regulation 15 of Chapter II.


A Fire control plan tells us about

  •  Fire alarm systems
  • Sprinkler installation
  • Extinguishing appliances
  • Means of escape to different compartments and decks
  • Ventilation system including particulars of remote operation of dampers and fans.
  • The position of various dampers, their marking, and which fan is for a particular compartment.

The Fire control plan is placed generally on the A-deck and can be also present in
conspicuous locations such as navigating bridge, engine room. Copy of the fire control plan shall be available ashore at the offices of the Company.

Renewal, update of Fire control plan

It comes under the responsibility of the master, ship owner and ship management team at shore to ensure that the fire control plan is kept up to date and if alterations are made shall be recorded as soon as possible.

It should be updated whenever there is a change in

  1. Fighting system
  2. Alarm system
  3. Escape route design
  4. Modification In ship structure or ship particulars 
  5. When flag changes
  6. During the change of classification society
  7. or anything related to the current fire plan takes place.

In accordance with the fire plan we also put IMO symbols so that it gets easy to identify various things. One of the tip that one can use when sticking a IMO symbol is to apply paint behind it or on the metal surface and then put the symbol over it. This makes the IMO symbol stick there for a longer time. Well, the glue is already very strong but still this helps sometime.

What are the markings on the lifeboat?

This is another frequently asked question and everyone needs to be prepared for answering this question before you face any Exam.

In the image below you can see the markings on the lifeboat of vessel Ever Greet(One of the largest container vessel.)

  1. Starting from the Top of the life boat we have IMO number, Name of the vessel and also the life boat number as you can see in the image below IMO number is 9832729, Name of vessel is Ever Greet and Lifeboat number is 2.
Marking on top of life boat.
All rights reserved to

2. Now lets have a look on side of a life boat

  • If it is a lifeboat or a rescue boat, In this case it can be used for both the purpose so its written Life / Rescue boat.
  • Below that we also have the name of Vessel.
  • Flag of the vessel – In this case PANAMA FLAG. (We have this marking on both sides.)
  • Maximum capacity – Maximum number of people it can have.
  • Diamension of the life boat. (Last image of the post shows the dimensions).
marking on life boat. All rights reserved to

marking on life boat. All rights reserved to

These markings are done as per SOLAS Regulations

Everything you need to know before you join a container vessel.

Bay, Row, and Tier.

The list starts with one of the most basic things, the knowledge of Bay Row and Tier. If you already know this you can skip this paragraph to save time. Ship lengthwise is divided into bays and you can generally find it written on both sides of the hatch cover. So when you are walking on the main deck you can see the Bay number. The image below shows the Bay number marking onboard.

Bay marking on hatch cover.

The image shows Bay 33 and Bay 34.
Bay number is also marked on both extreme sides top of hatch covers.

Bay marking on container vessel

Then we have Rows this is breath wise marking or transverse marking.

Row marking on a container vessel.

The center row is 00. Portside will have even numbers like 02, 04, 06 and so on depending on the width of the vessel, and starboard side will have odd numbers eg. 01, 03, 05.

Row marking on a container vessel
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And now we come to Tier, It is the height where the container is stored. Above the hatch cover, it starts from 72 then 74 then 76, and goes so on. At the bottom of the hold is 00 and just above that will be 02 then 04 and so on.

Example of Tier

The brown container is at Tier 72 and the green one is at Tier 74. in the image below.

What is tier in container vessel

In the image below the topmost container is at Tier 78.

What is tier ?

With the knowledge of Bay, Row and Tier you can locate any container onboard the vessel.

Knowledge of base lock, Twist-lock and Mid lock.

Base lock

As the name suggests it locks the base of the container to the hatch cover. Always remember to turn the lever right to open and left to lock the container in the base lock. The image below shows 2 baselock. The socket in which base lock is locked is called Base lock.

Base lock on a container vessel.

Mid locks

They are only used in the case of 20 feet container, Mid locks are not required when loading a 40 feet container. As the name suggests it is in the middle of the hatch cover.
The image below shows the mid lock.

Mid lock on a container vessel .

Mid lock on a container vessel .
All you need to know before joining container vessel.
Mid lock on a container vessel .

Twist lock

Each tier of the container is locked with the other tier of the container with twist locks. If not loaded properly or if the container does not sit properly its because of a twist lock. So while loading the crew keeps a close watch and report if any twist lock problem is noted. The image below shows the use of twist lock.

Twist lock on container vessel
What are twist locks

Container number.

Container marking consist of fallowing –

  1. There is a 4 letter code first 3 letters represent Owner code and the last letter represents Equipment category. 
  2. The serial number consists of 6 digits followed by 1 number check digit.
  3. Below that 4 digit alphanumeric code. (It represents size and type of the container.)
  4. Maximum gross – the Maximum combined weight of container and cargo.
  5. Tare weight – Weight of empty container without any cargo.
  6. Maximum payload – Maximum weight of cargo that can be loaded in a container
Container on board evergreet.
Container number.
Markings on container

Containers also contain CSC certificate image is shown below-

CSC safety approval,Markings on container.

What is Angle of Repose?

What is Angle of Repose?

The angle of repose, or critical angle of repose, of a granular material is the steepest angle of descent or dip relative to the horizontal plane to which a material can be piled without slumping.

Or it is the maximum horizontal angle at which granular particles can stack without using any other force or support.

Now, this might come to your mind that what is the maximum and what is the minimum angle of repose possible – So Theoretically speaking the angle will be between 0 and 90 degrees. Now let’s check which material has the largest and the least angle of repose –

Materials like Asphalt, Chalk, Coconut (Shredded), Coffee beans (Fresh), Earth, Gravel(Crushed stone) can have a maximum angle of repose up to 45 degrees. Whereas Looking to the least side we will have Urea, Wheat, Sand they can have as low as 27-30 degrees.


Following are the oral questions asked to the candidate, Click on the question to get answer (We are working on the answers). What we provide is a sample answer we cannot claim that our answer will be the best answer.

  1. What is load density and where you can find it?
  2. What is a bay plan and where you can find it onboard?
  3. Where can we find the location of IMDG cargo?
  4. Contents of MSDS Sheet?
  5. Purpose of MSDS Sheet?
  6. Markings on a container?
  7. What is BAY, TIER, ROW?
  8. List vs Trim?
  9. What is COW (advantages and disadvantages)
  10. Crude oil washing action is taken before and after arriving at port.
  11. What is pounding?
  12. What is a too lean and too rich hydrocarbon mixture?
  13. Difference between through and surface ventilation?
  14. Where is SuezCanal?
  15. What is the transportable moisture limit?
  16. What is the proof load?
  17. What is broken stowage?
  18. How to find the safe working load of a crane?
  19. what is breaking stress?
  20. What is the Angle of repose?
  21. In what type of fire we can use foam?
  22. What is a foam system & Explain high and low expansion.
  23. What is a chain register?
  24. Where is the chain register kept and what are its contents?
  25. The hazard of tank cleaning?
  26. Explain IMDG casses and Contents?
  27. Precautions for heavy lift cargo?
  28. What is stability booklet and where is it kept ?
  29. Contents of stability booklet?
  30. What is the cargo Securng manual?
  31. contents of cargo securing manual?
  32. What is IG tank?
  33. What is mast riser?
  34. What is purging?
  35. Duties of OOW while at a container port?
  36. Duties of OOW while at a loading oil?
  37. Parts of IG plant?
  38. What is liquefaction?
  39. What is flow state?
  40. What is loadicator ?
  41. Diff methods of purging?
  42. Hazard of Iran ore while loading?
  43. What is stowage factoe? What is broken stowage?
  44. If lodicator fails can you still load the cargo?
  45. If loadicator fails how will you load cargo?
  46. What is BLU code?
  47. What action you will take if you see oil around your vessel?
  48. IMSBC code?
  49. Ventilation and its need.?
  50. What is GM? What is the minimum GM?
  51. What is PV valve and what is PV breaker Valve?
  52. What is annealing? Why we do annealing?
  53. What is Exposimeter?
  54. Function of Exposimeter?
  55. Explain Flammablity dagram ?
  56. Alarms on IG Pannel?
  57. IG Blower?
  58. Scrubber ?
  59. Content of IG?
  60. What is Volatile Cargo ?
  61. What s Non Volatile Cargo?
  62. Define LFL and UFL
  63. What s MFAG?
  64. what is keel reke?
  65. what is stem rake?
  66. What is angle of LOL?
  67. What is Stable and unstable equlibrium ?
  68. Corrective action for angle of lol?
  69. Stages and Procedure for COW?
  70. What is CSM code?
  71. What is Shell Expansion plan?
  72. Name Bridge euipments
  73. Life boat requirement?
  74. Life raft requirement?
  75. What is intact stablity?
  76. How is a container secured onboard?
  77. Lashing arrangement ?
  78. Which one is more important base lock or twist lock or Lashing?
  79. In RORO ship what is axil load?
  80. Disadvantage of crude oil washing?
  81. Advantages of crude oil washing ?
  82. Diffrent type of piping system on tanker?
  83. Stowage factor unit?
  84. Hazard of grain ?
  85. Hazard of coal ?
  86. Hazard of sulpher ?
  87. Hazard of timber cargo?
  88. What is Moisture content ?
  89. What is FMP and TML?
  90. What is Trimmed and untrimmed cargo?
  91. What is Noxious lquid substance?
  92. What is CSC plate?
  93. What is Hydrostatic draft?
  94. What is hogging and Sagging?
  95. What is SF factor ?
  96. Methods of ballast water management?

Compass Error Calculation by Azimuth of Planets

Let’s learn how to calculate compass error by the Azimuth of any planet. We will understand this with the help of an easy example.

Sample calculation (Azimuth- Planets):

On 06 May 2006 at 22h20m 10s UTC, a vessel in position 48°00’N 050°00’E observed Mars bearing 327° by compass. Find the compass error. If variation was 4.0° East, calculate the deviation.

GHA Mars (06d 22h): = 089° 55.7′
Increment (20m 10s): = 005° 02.5
v (0.9)             =     00.3
GHA Mars: = 094°58.5′

Longitude (E):  (+) 050° 00.0′ (plus-since longitude is easterly)
LHA Mars:                 144° 58.5

Declination (06d 22h): = N 024° 18.6
d (0.2): = 00.1 (D correction)
Declination Mars: = N 024° 18.5

Now we will FIND – P and use ABC method for further calculations.
P= 1440 58.5 (If LHA 180° P=LHA)
A = Tan Latitude/ Tan P
A = Tan 48° 00′ / Tan 144° 58.5
A = 1.584646985 N (A is named opposite to latitude, except when hour angle is between 090° and 270°).
B = Tan Declination/Sin P
B= Tan 024° 18.5′ / Sin 144° 58.5′
B = 0.787011353 N (B is always named same as declination)
C = A+B = 2.371658338 N (C correction, A+/- B: If A and B have same name-add, If different name- subtract).

Tan Azimuth = 1/(CX Cos Latitude)
Tan Azimuth = 0.6301399
Azimuth = N 32.2° W (Azimuth takes the combined name of C correction and Hour Angle – If LHA is between 0°and 180°, it is named “west”, if LHA is between 180° and 360, it is named “east).

True Azimuth= 327.8°
Compass Azimuth= 327.0°
Compass Error = 0.8° East
Variation = 4.0° East (you can find this in ECDIS when finding compass error onboard)
Deviation = 3.2° West


NAVTEX , All about Navtex


NAVTEX (NAVigational TEleX), It is a type of one communication system where we only receive navigational warnings sent by the Navtex station.
NAVTEX was developed to provide information at low cost fortunately there is no user fees associated with receiving NAVTEX broadcasts.


Navtex is part of GMDSS equipment which is required to be fitted onboard every ship as per SOLAS Chapter IV Reg 7.


The international navtex frequency is 518 kHz, and these broadcasts should always be in English. National transmission (Generally in local Language)of navtex uses 490 kHz.


The world is divided into 16 areas + 5 areas recently introduced for the Arctic region.

  • Navarea 1 – North Atlantic, North Sea, Baltic Sea
  • Navarea 2 – East Atlantic
  • Navarea 3 – Mediterranean Sea
  • Navarea 4 – West Atlantic
  • Navarea 5 – Brasil
  • Navarea 6 – Argentina, Uruguay
  • Navarea 7 – South Africa
  • Navarea 8 – India
  • Navarea 9 – Arabia
  • Navarea 10 – Australia
  • Navarea 11 – East Asia
  • Navarea 12 – Eastern Pacific
  • Navarea 13 – Russia
  • Navarea 14 – New Zealand, Southern Pacific
  • Navarea 15 – Chile
  • Navarea 16 – Peru
  • + 5 areas recently introduced for the Arctic region

Navtex Message text screen